Michael Crees will make a welcome return to the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship grid this season after signing a deal with top team BTC Racing for his second year in the biggest race series in the UK.
After enjoying a fantastic first season in the BTCC last year, Crees has been working hard behind-the-scenes to secure a return to the championship this season and his efforts have been rewarded with a brilliant opportunity at one of the leading teams on the grid.
Stepping up to the BTCC last year as a former two-time Ginetta champion, Crees enjoyed a sensational start with a points finish in his first race in the series. He went on to end the year in style too with an amazing seasons’ best ninth place result on the penultimate weekend at Silverstone.
As well as impressing on circuit with strong progression through the campaign in the ultra-competitive championship, Crees also made his mark off-track with his passionate and positive approach to racing making him a firm fan favourite.
The Kent racer will contest the 2020 season behind the wheel of a current FK8-generation Honda Civic Type R, which has been a permanent fixture at the front of the field over the last two seasons. Last year, BTC Racing achieved three race wins and seven other podium finishes with the car.
Crees will be part of a three-pronged attack from the Brackley-based outfit this season, with the 36 year old set to benefit from working alongside two experienced, front-running team-mates; former BTCC Independents’ champion Tom Chilton and five-time race-winner Josh Cook.
Michael Crees: “In the last couple of weeks it was looking increasingly likely that I’d missed the boat to get a spot on the British Touring Car Championship grid in 2020, but this deal with BTC Racing came up at exactly the right time and I’m over the moon.
“BTC Racing have proven over the last couple of years that they are one of the top teams on the grid, while for me, the Honda Civic FK8 is the best front-wheel drive car on the grid. Together, it’s a package that offers me a great chance to work my way up the grid this year.
“It’s going to be a big challenge for me to get to grips with a new car again and get into the battle for regular points finishes in one of the most competitive series in the world, but it’s an opportunity I’m relishing and I can’t wait to get stuck into the action.
“It was my dream to race in the BTCC and I achieved that last year. Now, after a winter of uncertainty, to be back on the grid for a second season is an incredible feeling and I’m determined to maximise every opportunity this year. Thank you to BTC Racing and all my sponsors for making this possible.”
Bert Taylor, Joint Team Principal: “I think this is an exciting signing for BTC Racing. Michael joining us completes what I believe is a very strong line-up for 2020. It’s a great opportunity to give a rookie driver the chance to come and learn his craft in a top-flight team and car.
“Although he’s relatively new to the grid, he brings great energy to the team and willingness to improve. He should learn a lot from Josh and Tom, and will benefit greatly from working with them. I feel sure that the three of them will work well together and we can look forward to lots of success as a team.”
The BTCC is the most popular series in the UK. Across the 2019 campaign, over 380,000 fans attended the ten race meetings, while the championship’s free-to-air television coverage on ITV reached a total UK audience of over 19.5 million.
The 2020 BTCC season will once again be contested over ten events. Starting at Donington Park in late March, it will visit Silverstone (twice), Thruxton, Oulton Park, Croft, Snetterton and Knockhill, before a second visit of the year to Crees’ home circuit Brands Hatch ends the campaign in October.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.